Jaxon Buell surprised everyone.
Not expected to live after being born with most of his skull missing, he celebrated his first birthday August 27th in Tavares, Florida.
Jaxon’s parents were advised to abort after doctors discovered that he had an extreme brain malformation called microhydranencephaly. They doubted he would survive the pregnancy.
The rare condition can cause microcephaly and scalp rugae – which mean the head can be smaller than normal and the scalp ridged – but that doesn’t stop Jaxon from looking 100 per cent adorable.
His mother said the idea of her baby not making it through the birth process devastated her and her husband Brandon. “It was heartbreaking,” says Brittany Buell, “because something I always wanted my whole life was happening, but then I was told there was a possibility it might be a stillborn. It took all the joy away from me. The happiness that normal women have when they are pregnant – I had none of that.”
“We went home that night thinking if you are telling us to abort, we would never know what Jaxon could have been, if he could have survived,” Brandon recalls. “Who are we to decide? We were given a child, we are given a chance and we have to be his voice.”
Happily, though, Jaxon defied the odds and arrived safely, weighing four pounds. He spent his first three weeks in the hospital connected to tubes, as doctors tried to understand his rare condition.
“It was very emotional,” Jaxon’s father said of the time following his son’s birth. “I remember holding him on day two and listening to the doctors say my son would probably never walk, never talk, never know when he’s hungry, or never hear or see. They really did not expect him to make it.”
Having been blessed with what they know is a miracle baby, his parents have gone above and beyond to ensure he has the happiest life possible. Still, they worry all the time that their beloved boy might not make it.
“It is always in the back of my mind,” Brittany said. “I’m very aware that today may be his last day. I’m aware tomorrow he may not be here. I try to stay positive 99 per cent of the time but there is that 1 per cent because I know the reality of the situation — that we’re probably going to outlive him.”